Turbo Jam: Cardio Party 2

Chalene Johnson
Year Released: 2005

Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts

CP2 is the second Turbo Jam video I have tried (on loan from VFer Rhae); the other is CP1, so I'll be comparing and contrasting the two in this review. Charlene again leads a large class of mostly the same participants from CP1; Mindy and AnnaRita again show lower-impact modifications.

The 4-minute CP2 warm-up is very similar to CP1: Chalene begins with a few shoulder rolls, reviews each of the punches (jab, cross, hook, and upper), and then goes into the same series of stretches. The first cardio segment is about 7 minutes long, and it begins with 4 jabs to the front. Chalene adds on the turbo twist (jab-cross-jab-knee) and eventually incorporates uppercuts as well to form a little combo. After completing the combo to the one side, you do jab-knees plus a pump with a jab, then go back and repeat the original combo on the other side.

The second cardio segment is 6 minutes long, and Chalene says at the beginning that she's going to bring down the intensity (unlike in CP1, which seemed to get increasingly intense up until the turbo). She starts with a march (one-two-three-knee), eventually changing the knee lifts to front and back push kicks, then adding repeater knees to form a combo. The second combo consists of 1) a speed bag with a crunch to either side followed by uppercuts, and then 2) a knee up with one punch diagonally up, one punch diagonally down. You then repeat the first combo to the other side.

The pace picks up a bit in the third cardio segment, also about 7 minutes long. Standing in horse stance, you'll do 4 cross punches with a zig-zag knee, eventually adding on a single-single-double punch. The next combination includes a turbo jab (a side shuffle with 3 jabs and then a cross) and clockwork (jab-cross-jab-cross to the side, then repeated to the front). After repeating to the other side, you're ready for the turbo: a 1.5 minute high intensity segment. Here, Charlene begins with a jump squat, moves into fast punches and jab-knees, and ends with both fast and high jogs.

Following the turbo, there is the usual 30-second water break, and then a 7-minute "dance recovery" segment (which I didn't find to be very dancey at all). In this segment, you'll combine a step front/side kick-step back/speed bag with a knee/side push to either side. For some reason, this sequence felt very awkward to me, and I found myself frequently off the beat. The second combo consists of a side shuffle with 6 side jabs, a punch up/punch down, and squat/claps in-between. The 4.5 minute finale is very similar to CP1 except that the order is reversed: you'll start with high-low jabs to the side, then do quick crosses to the front with a knee, eventually adding a single-single-double cross. However, I thought that this segment did not have the same revved up feel as the CP1 finale.

Finally, you'll begin lowering your heart rate with finesse, a 3-minute segment of slow steps and kicks. The moves are a bit more complex here than in the finesse segment of CP1, yet they are performed slowly enough that they're easy to pick up quickly. The 2-minute cool-down consists of about 1 minute Tai Chi moves and 1 minute of brief stretches, bringing the entire workout time in at just under 43 minutes.

Overall, I did enjoy this workout, but not enough to purchase, and not as much as CP1 for several reasons. First of all, whereas I thought the music in CP1 was a lot of fun and I recognized several of the tunes, which wasn't the case here (at the end of the DVD, I saw that "Baby Got Back" was listed, and although I know this song, I didn't notice it either of the two times I did the workout!). Secondly, I found that my heart rate varied more during this workout than with CP1; I had to make a conscious effort to keep the intensity level up. Finally, I simply found the individual exercises and combinations in CP2 to be less enjoyable. In addition to finding the dance party segment to be awkward, I also found the side shuffles (used in both the 3rd cardio segment and the dance recovery) to be repetitive as well as difficult given my limited room to move side-to-side in my exercise space. However, like CP1, this is a still a solid, fun cardio workout, and so I think that most people who enjoy CP1 would enjoy this as well.

Instructor Comments:
Although Chalene was a bit over-the-top for me in CP1, surprisingly, I found her to be almost too subdued here; the workout just didn't seem to have the same energy level, which decreased the fun factor a bit for me. As with CP1, she offers minimal cueing, although I actually had LESS of a problem with her cueing during this workout, probably because I was already familiar with many of the moves from CP1 (although I thought the turbo segment was particularly poorly cued).

Beth C (aka toaster)